I was in Philadelphia last weekend! Long story short: Brett was supposed to have had a work trip there, I had booked a ticket to come visit, his work trip got cancelled, we went anyway. If you’ve never been, Philadelphia is such a great city: aside from the obvious wealth of cultural and historical activities to immerse yourself in (and we did plenty of that!), there’s also great food, people, and, of course, shopping. We really lucked out with the weather while we were there (it was sunny and gorgeous the whole time, versus torrential rain and awfulness back in Austin) so this definitely had a ‘rose-colored glasses’ effect on my stay, but hey: I loved it!
Philadelphia is full of great shopping options, and I feel like I just scratched the surface during the short time that I had to explore the city. Nonetheless, I found some absolute gems so if you’re contemplating a shopping trip to the city of brotherly love, here’s a list to get you started:
MAARK Concept – This South Street space is dedicated to emerging local designers, and the proprietors have done a fabulous job in curating small-run clothing, jewelry and accessories in a truly special nook of the city. When I visited, a local designer was doing a ‘custom’ event here she’d take your measurements on site to make her pieces specifically tailored for each customer.
Vagabond – This was probably my favorite of all the shops I wandered into throughout my stay. Megan, the owner, just knocks it out of the park with great clothes (both new and vintage) in a breezy, beautiful space on 3rd st. Aside from some of my favorite lines (Ace&Jig, Dusen Dusen, Just Female), she stocks some lines that were new to me (UZI, Native Youth, NEUW) and sells them at prices that are, dare I say, reasonable. I scored an amazing jumpsuit and a white raw denim dress there, together under $200 (to be shared on Instagram soon, I’m sure).
Sugarcube – I loved the variety of pieces in this shop. A mix of funky, trendy pieces, a solid denim selection, leather moto jackets, and cool accessories to go with it all. It’s a bigger place than I anticipated, so be prepared to spend a bit of time scouring the racks, because it’s ALL good!
Workshop Underground – This is where I found the amazing necklace I shared on IG recently. I’m not totally sure how to classify this shop: it’s a super hip, yet fun and laid-back mix of home goods and accessories that really works. We even found a cool sculpture-like art piece for a wall in our house, and at a GREAT price. The guy working there helped with shipping the piece back to Austin and gave some solid restaurant recommends too!
Century 21 – If you’ve been to the NYC flagship, you know what this madness is all about. Picture that, but on a smaller scale. Designer goods at discount prices; LOTS to look through and count on crowds during peak times. I’d recommend hitting this up during the day on a Tuesday or something: you might score a deal, but you’d better believe you’re going to pay for it
N3rd Collective – Another shop whose genre is somewhat hard to classify. The focus here is vintage
Lost and Found – In on the cluster of shopping goodness on 3rd Street, this shop has a good mix of new and vintage. I scoped some seriously adorable dresses at good prices
Third Street Habit – I LOVED this place: another shop owner who does a killer job in the buying department and seems to be inside my head, knowing that I’ll want all the things. A perfect mix of casual and dressy, affordable and aspirational.
Shopping goodness aside, what really struck me about Philadelphia was that everyone I encountered was so friendly and warm. Everyone. Shop owners, tour guides, hotel staff, restaurant workers, passersby… chalk it up to the city getting the best weather it’s seen in months (and the Phillies winning on Sunday), but I’ve never encountered such friendliness and love for where they live (and I live in Austin!) I had an absolute ball just wandering the streets and seeing the sights. I’d describe ‘Philly style’ as laid-back, yet put-together and accessible at the same time. A few fashion-focused snaps from the weekend:
I stumbled upon this on my last day of the city, and of course it was closed. Big-time bummer.
I followed the arrow, duh.
A look on display at MADE, the fashion school advertised on the sign in the previous photo.
Another MADE student creation.
Window art in the Old City District.
Best shop name ever.
After this whirlwind trip, I’m back in Austin for awhile. If you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia, this shop list is just part of the goodness that’s to be found in the city, and there is no shortage of things to do, see, eat, and experience. Great time, fabulous city, can’t wait to go back!